Old Baylor Hospital to be demolished

City Council approves contracts to clear land on 80-acre campus

Bill Spinks
Waxahachie Daily Light
The former Baylor Hospital building sits vacant on West Jefferson Street. The Waxahachie City Council on Monday night approved agreements to tear down the old building and adjoining structures at a total cost of $1,450,000.

The former Baylor Hospital campus at 1405 West Jefferson Street will soon be torn down as a result of action by the Waxahachie City Council during Monday night’s regular meeting.

Councilmembers authorized agreements with Environmental & Construction Services, Inc. and Vantage Environmental Services, LP for demolition, asbestos abatement and environmental inspection at the former hospital site, which has sat vacant since 2014. The first agreement will be funded through the Choice cooperative purchasing program and the second through a professional services agreement.

The total amount is not to exceed $1,450,000. Assistant city manager Tommy Ludwig noted that the city’s budget for fiscal year 2020-2021 included $1,150,000 that accounted only for the demolition work, and did not include abatement and environmental work because those costs can vary greatly. The additional $300,000 will come from the city’s unrestricted reserves.

The work will involve demolition of the main hospital building and two medical office buildings, a helipad and an adjacent parking lot; removal of an underground storage tank; and a utility separation for the HRT Building at 1505 West Jefferson, which will remain in use.

“Although there are people who clearly don’t understand what the issues are there, I think we made the right decision,” Mayor Pro Tem Mary Lou Shipley said. “I look forward to that being carried out.”

Baylor Scott & White donated the 80-acre site to the city of Waxahachie in January 2020. The property has an assessed value of more than $6.6 million, according to the Ellis County Appraisal District.

All councilmembers were present.

Other items

• Consent agenda items included approval of previous minutes; an event application for the Wheels on Fire Bike Ride on June 26; and authorization of supplemental appropriations which will fund the Planning Manager position, the Sokoll fund for a water meter replacement and the Wastewater Fund for a flow monitoring program.

• Councilmembers approved a public hearing to be held June 7 to consider a preliminary service and assessment plan for Phase 3 of Waxahachie Public Improvement District No. 1, which consists of about 1,966 acres on the southeast side of the city.

• The council passed a resolution denying a distribution rate increase request by Oncor Electric Delivery. The increase would add approximately $1.35 to residential customers’ average bills.

• A plat for a 10.385-acre lot west of Wilson Road was approved with a waiver granted to allow for lack of a nearby fire plug.

• A specific-use permit for a drive-thru car wash located west of 3298 Interstate 35E was approved with the added stipulation that a sidewalk must be added.

• A zoning change to a planned development to add a concept plan at the southwest corner of  Garden Valley Parkway and Goodnight Lane was approved. The change involves the integration of 18 standalone cottages into the main building. Language was added to the agreement to preserve the treeline between the development and the Waxahachie Sports Complex.

• The council approved a zoning change from Multiple Family-1 to a planned development for Multiple Family-2 to allow three-story units at 865 Cantrell Street, just east of I-35E. The complex will have 216 total residential units.

• Following an executive session, the council voted to proceed with an agreement to purchase an unspecified real estate property.